WKU vs ODU Odds & Pick | College Football Betting Preview

WKU vs ODU Odds & Pick | College Football Betting Preview article feature image

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Western Kentucky vs Old Dominion Odds

Monday, December 18
2:30 p.m. ET
WKU Odds
-105 / -115
ODU Odds
-105 / -115
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

Western Kentucky and Old Dominion renew an old Conference USA rivalry on Monday afternoon in the Famous Toastery Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Sports betting in North Carolina will be legal in 2024! Be sure to get all the information from Action's North Carolina sports betting page ahead of launch.

This bowl game takes the place of the Bahamas Bowl due to ongoing renovations at Thomas Robinson Stadium in Nassau.

The Monarchs needed back-to-back wins to clinch their third bowl appearance as a program. Meanwhile, the Hilltoppers are looking for a fourth bowl triumph under coach Tyson Helton.

This series has been dominated by WKU, but I feel the value is on the other side in this bowl matchup.

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Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

With many key players returning from last season’s squad, Helton’s team aspired to make another run at a CUSA Championship. However, it never came to fruition.

The Hilltoppers have still been one of the best Group of Five programs in recent years as one of the four G5 teams that have played in a bowl game each year since 2019.

The Tops are also one of just three non-Power 5 schools that have won a bowl game each of the last two seasons and will also be playing in a bowl game this year.

Depending on who will be available from those who jumped into the portal, Helton has a great opportunity to add to the trophy case here.

You can now bet the Hilltoppers in Kentucky! Kentucky sports betting is officially live with some of the most popular books to choose from. Sign up for tonight's Bowl game!

Old Dominion Monarchs

After a three-win season a year ago, head coach Ricky Rahne’s squad used some late-game heroics to make a return to a bowl game for the first time since 2021.

All eight of ODU’s conference games — and 10 of its 12 contests overall — were one-score games, including the final two victories in the final games of the season. In the win over Georgia Southern, the Monarchs kicked a game-winning field goal on the final play, which was followed by a Grant Wilson touchdown run on the last play to beat Georgia State in the regular-season finale.

Another thing that has been so impressive about the job Rahne has done is the team's performance against tough opposition. The only teams that have played more bowl opponents this season are Coastal Carolina and Marshall.

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Western Kentucky vs Old Dominion

Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Western Kentucky and Old Dominion match up statistically:

Western Kentucky Offense vs. Old Dominion Defense
Rush Success12165
Line Yards7627
Pass Success6986
Finishing Drives824
Quality Drives9650
Old Dominion Offense vs. Western Kentucky Defense
Rush Success107125
Line Yards86131
Pass Success11068
Finishing Drives12382
Quality Drives12250
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling12010
PFF Coverage4359
Special Teams SP+92100
Middle 876106
Seconds per Play25.3 (33)23.3 (9)
Rush Rate40.0% (125)56.7% (87)

Western Kentucky vs Old Dominion

Betting Pick & Prediction

The theme of the bowl games this year is the opt-outs and transfer portal, and this season is no different. If you haven’t already, bookmark Stuckey’s tracker to keep up with all of the news throughout bowl season.

WKU currently has three starting offensive linemen, two defensive back starters and a starting linebacker in the transfer portal. However, the big name is star quarterback Austin Reed, who is not expected to play.

Western Kentucky starting QB Austin Reed not expected to play in Monday’s Famous Toastery Bowl, sources told @ActionNetworkHQ. However, star WR Malachi Corley is expected to play for the Hilltoppers’ game vs. Old Dominion

— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) December 16, 2023

With Reed out and their backup also in the portal, the Tops will have to turn to Helton’s son to get the start as their backup. One thing to remember, however, is that the Hilltoppers have allowed players to enter the portal and still play in bowls.

Old Dominion will also be missing key players on defense, with a starting safety in the portal and its leading tackler out injured.

With all that said, my favorite bet is to back ODU -4.5 at FanDuel, which I would bet to -6. But I would hold off until you get confirmation on key players for both teams.

For starters, WKU beat only one team that made a bowl game, which against South Florida in the season opener. Meanwhile, Old Dominion defeated four.

I also question the motivation for the Hilltoppers in this spot, as they came into the season expecting to be competing for a conference title. They now don’t even get a chance to go to the Bahamas and have to settle for a bowl game on Charlotte’s campus.

If the current players stay out and more Tops get added to that list, I really like the Monarchs here to pick up a big bowl victory.

Pick: Old Dominion -4.5 (Play to -6)

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